Harris Christmas Tree
The Harris clan going to get a Christmas tree is much like when the Griswalds go to get theirs... just the Alaskan version. Of course, we have a Ski-Doo Skandic Sport in place of the Ford station wagon, but the journey is usually just as full of adventure.
We had our own little train going out to get the tree. Behind our machine, we pulled a freight sled, and behind that, Romay had tied on her red plastic sled. Kemper has this thing about being lead dog (even when he we does not know where we are going), and so he ran out front. The four of us went to the trail next to our lot as it heads back on to some dry lake beds amongst some trees that we hoped would hold our Christmas tree.
Galena has gotten some of the best snow this year that I have ever seen and makes machining both fun and challenging. Part of that challenge came when we drove over the bank that had been pushed up by the road plow. The snow machine made it over fine, the freight sled soon followed, but the red sled took a more interesting path. The cord had become slack from the freight sled dropping over the bank and when that slack was drawn up, the sled shot forward, and fired Romay about three feet into the air. First a scream, then giggles and then the Mom and Dad nearly fell off from laughing so hard. Romay may have a future as a human bullet. The key is deep snow and a down coat.
The only vehicle that had been back on the lake must have been a dog sled as the trail was so narrow. It felt more like we were on a jet ski than a snow machine as we floated around through the back lakes. Each time we got off to look at the spruce tree possibilities, we would trek through about three feet of snow. Kemper perfected a dog version of the butter fly as he undulated through the snow, more swimming than running (for those of you that don't know Kemper, he is a big lab and so you can see the snow is deep). The further out we traveled, the skinnier the trees became. We unhooked the sleds and made an interesting u-turn that any sled neck would be proud of. Back we headed toward town and to the trees we looked at originally.
Wildlife made its showing as we passed two antlerless moose that seemed to surprise Romay. "Mom, can I ride in the freight sled with you?" Her eyes got the size of quarters as we passed by. After being used to seeing caribou for the last five years, moose seem more like draft horses.
Thankfully, unlike Clark Griswald, we remembered a saw. My Dad would have been proud though as we cut down two trees before we found the one we liked (Dad and I always cut at least three: "The top of that one look okay to you?" as we looked up at a twenty foot pine).
The tree is up, decorated, and a day later and Kemper is still passed out on the floor. It was a good trip.